Keeping Your Family Body Wise this Fall: Safety Tips to Keep Halloween Safe and Sweet

by TOI Admin October 29, 2012

While Halloween is a fun and thrilling holiday for kids of all ages to enjoy trick-or-treating for candy and pumpkin carving, it can be a tricky holiday for safety.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, statistics from 2007 – 2011 show that children, ages 10 -14 sustained 29 percent of injuries, the greatest portion of injuries from children 18 years and younger. Head injuries accounted for the greatest portion of injuries at 17 percent followed by finger / hand injuries at 14.2 percent.

To help reduce the risk for injury, keep in the mind the tips below from AAOS and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America for fun fall festivities and safe trick-or-treating:

Trick-or-treating tips:

  • It is important that children walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways. They also should obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Costumes should be flame-resistant and fit properly. Be sure the child’s vision is unobstructed by masks, face paint or hats. Costumes that are too long may cause kids to trip and fall, so trim or hem them as necessary.
  • Children should wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.
  • Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit. Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of neighborhood dogs when trick-or-treating and remember that these pets can impose a threat when you approach their home.
  • Be considerate of fire hazards when lighting jack-o-lantern candles or use non-flammable light sources, like glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights.
  • Consider healthier alternatives to candy such as fruit bars and granola mix.
  • Carry a cell phone while trick-or-treating in case of an emergency.

Pumpkin carving tips:

  • Adults carving pumpkins should remember to use a pumpkin carving kit, or knives specifically designed for carving, as they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin.
  • In general, children should not carve pumpkins. However, some Halloween carving devices, designed especially for children, may be safe for use with parental supervision. Children also can empty the seeds out of the pumpkin, or use a pumpkin decorating kit that does not involve pumpkin carving.
  • Always carve pumpkins in a clean, dry and well-lit area and make sure there is no moisture on the carving tools or your hands.
  • Should a pumpkin carver cut a finger or hand, make sure the hand is elevated higher than the heart and apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. If continuous pressure does not slow or stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, or if the cut is deep, an emergency room visit may be necessary.


*Source: AAOS – Stuart Miles


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